If you’re reading this, I’m pleased to tell you we’re still here. Our republic is down, but not out.
As terrifying as last week’s insurrection was (and the more we learn, the worse it gets), I don’t think the fate of our nation was ever in doubt. That may be naivete but for me, the appeal of the American Experiment is its resilience.
We bend but never break.
A huge part of the larger discourse has been the rise of social media, and the influence it has on the populace. There is no shortage of analysis and/or hot takes on the massive reach of Facebook (or the calls to #DeleteFacebook), the often arbitrary moderation of Twitter, and whateverthehell Parler was.
The latter was effectively erased from existence last week, and a lot of people made sure we all knew they thought their freedom of speech was being infringed on.
Regardless of where you stand on Parler’s extinction, we can all agree on 2 distinct truths:
1. Civics needs to make a return to our school’s curriculum, post haste.
2. For all intents and purposes, social media IS today’s Town Square. It’s where we go to share ideas, get on our (cyber) soapbox, and debate. The discourse isn’t happening down the street- it’s on your screen.
The First Amendment doesn’t apply to private companies, and everyone has to consent to a platform’s Terms of Service as a condition of participation. The easy answer here is to point to that, and say “if you don’t like it, leave.” I know, I’ve done it. But maybe the better solution is to model Terms of Service after the First Amendment.
It’s pretty clear that online is where people are now assembling, and as broad as it is, 1A still has defined guardrails. I don’t think you could legislate (read: force) companies to do this, but it’s certainly a model worth looking into going forward. Don’t @ me*.
On to the good stuff…
Like many of you, I often find refuge in music. This week was no different. Here are a few songs that made navigating life during wartime a little better.
Speaking of escape, the life of the Digital Nomad has exploded in popularity. COVID has been an accelerant for many things, and this is no different. As the Knowledge Economy has blossomed, so too has the ability to work from anywhere as long as you have internet access. Susanna Perkins has written a great piece about the age of the “Anywhereist.” As she explains, it goes far beyond simple categories, and far beyond the stereotypical 20-something.
“An “anywhereist” goes beyond “work from home,” “remote work,” or “digital nomad” — although it encompasses all of them. To me, it means I have the ability to truly work and live anywhere, either as a remote employee or through my own business.”
With some nations now offering work visas (Aruba, anyone?), there’s never been a better time to load up your laptop and go. Work From Home sounds a whole lot more appealing when “home” is an island paradise.
Long live the Business Traveler. As COVID continues to ravage the aviation industry, many have predicted the end of corporate travel. Given the disproportionate amount of revenue they bring in, this is particularly concerning. The truth is, this is nothing new.
The end of biz travel has been predicted before; after 9/11, and again most recently after the Great Recession. After this year, it may look different-especially if people disperse from huge cities to work from home (or anywhere), but there’s a very simple reason why rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated, and Gavin Baker only needs 130 words to tell us why.
When the Suits do return to the terminal, you know what won’t be there? CNN Airport News. Not sure I’d be able to write any kind of elegy here, but it is more proof that change is constant.
COVID has clearly changed how we work, how we travel, and how we… (checks notes)… build stadiums?
The new facility for St. Louis CITY SC (caps intentional) will be open on all sides, like a porch.
For any soccer fans wondering, they are already working on ways to make sure the noise level from the stands stays LOUD.
Onward up the mountain,
*Actually, you should totally @ me; I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.